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Happy Pregnancy

Personality Types - How They Affect Children and How it Can Help You Parent

by Sherry Lee 16 Jun 2023

We know that the personality traits you have affect how you behave. But did you know that your child's personality type can also influence their behavior?

The study used a standardized measure that assesses 15 mid-level personality traits. These include extraversion (likes people), openness to experience and intelligence. A regression analysis was performed on these personality factors compared to parenting.

Introverted vs. Extroverted Children

Extroverted Children

It is very common for introverted children to be misunderstood and even feared. However, it's important to realize that the trait of introversion does not imply shyness or anxiety. Instead, it reflects how they spend their energy and how they recharge their emotional batteries.

For example, if your child loves to be alone and likes reading quietly or spending time with friends in small groups, they are an introverted. Similarly, if your child enjoys socializing with large groups and playing team sports, they are an extrovert. Whether or not they are an introvert or an extrovert, it's very important for them to have time to recharge on their own.

As a parent, it can be challenging to encourage a highly introverted child to participate in group settings or social activities. However, allowing them to do so in small doses can help them learn how to manage their energy and become more comfortable with social interactions. Also, letting them know that they can still have fun without having to talk with everyone will give them more confidence to follow their true personalities. They often "march to the beat of their own drum" and choose music, clothes, shows and books that appeal to them rather than what's popular with their peers.

Sensory Sensitivity

Understanding personality types can help you understand your child’s unique strengths and challenges. However, if you want to precisely identify your child’s personality type, you should seek out a professional practitioner to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and receive a thorough interpretation of the results.

ISTJs, for example, appear serious, formal and proper, with a deep respect for traditions and old-school values that uphold loyalty, patience, hard work, and social and cultural responsibility. They’re typically observant and focused on other people, often remembering small details about them. They’re also practical in their approach to solving problems, and they prefer straightforward information over abstract theories.

Personality types can affect how your child interacts with other children and adults, too. Children with high levels of openness and agreeableness can be sociable and outgoing, while those with low levels of these traits are more likely to be reclusive. They may also struggle to form close connections with other people due to sensory sensitivities, such as those related to auditory stimuli. This can be problematic in relationships and the workplace, particularly as these children grow up and transition to adulthood. In some cases, sensory sensitivity can be an indicator of certain mental health disorders.

Highly Sensitive Children

sensitive kids

Often, kids who are highly sensitive have more trouble adapting to life’s expectations and limits than others. This is especially true of kids who are easily overstimulated. Fortunately, they can learn to cope and thrive. They may need extra time to process their feelings, but they also have the gift of noticing things about people and situations that others do not. They are deep thinkers, great listeners and have varied interests.

ISFP personalities are easy-going and peaceful. They tend to trust their instinct and have a tendency to avoid conflict. They may take a long time to make decisions because they look into the details and subtleties of the options, such as deciding which flavor of ice cream to buy. They may get very emotional when they feel that someone has wronged them.

Parents of highly sensitive children can help them develop coping strategies for overstimulation and negative emotions. They should also remember that being highly sensitive is a strength, not a weakness, and they should try to reframe their experiences with it in positive terms. For example, rather than viewing their high sensitivity as an indication that something is wrong with them, they should recognize that their sensitive natures enable them to be more empathetic, imaginative and perceptive.

Perfectionistic Children

Perfectionistic kids

For children with perfectionistic traits, their behavior can become an all-consuming problem that causes serious anxiety. They may be overly critical of themselves and other people, and they tend to have unrealistically high expectations that are hard to meet. These children may also develop symptoms of anxiety and depression over time.

For example, children with perfectionism might avoid new activities or extracurriculars that would expose them to the risk of making mistakes. They might stick with familiar school subjects and only pursue hobbies that they're already good at. This can limit a child's growth and prevent them from learning new skills that could potentially make their lives better in the future.

The personality type theory developed by Jung is based on the ancient medical concept of four temperaments, sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic. However, modern science does not support the idea that these different bodily fluids affect personality. Instead, research shows that attachment styles, parental expectations and parenting style can be the main contributors to a child's tendency toward perfectionistic behavior. In the case of a child with perfectionistic tendencies, parents should try to help them reduce their anxiety by providing a calm and uncluttered environment that encourages healthy self-esteem and independence.

High-Energy or Active Children

Children may have different energy levels that can make them more active or calm. Children who are more active may be a bit rowdy or have trouble sitting still during slower activities and tend to change their activities frequently. It's important to avoid negatively labeling these kids as "hyper," because their energetic nature is a natural temperament and not an illness or disorder.

Children who are more calm can be quite content in a quiet environment. They are usually good listeners and take their time to consider an issue before deciding how they will respond. They have a strong sense of loyalty and are often described as trustworthy individuals. They may also be very creative and are able to come up with many ideas on their own.

The MBTI questionnaire identifies 16 personality types. However, personality traits work on a continuum and most people will not fit exactly into one of these categories. Nonetheless, understanding your own personality type and that of others can help you appreciate their differences. This understanding can also lead to fewer conflicts and more tolerance for personalities that might normally rub you the wrong way.

Analytical and Logical Thinkers

analytical thinker

In their quest to understand the world and how it works, analytical thinkers like 'The Investigator' love logic and puzzles. They may drive their parents and teachers crazy by constantly asking "Why?" but they are genuinely curious about how things work. They learn best when information is presented in a step-by-step manner and will work on something until they can make sense of it.

Those with a judging personality type are highly responsible and prefer to do things by the book. They value tradition and have a strong sense of duty, making them dependable and often seen as serious. They are also quick to spot discrepancies in people's behavior and have a tendency to worry a lot, which is why they tend to avoid situations that could potentially be harmful.

In contrast, those with an intuitive personality type are more concerned with feelings and personal values. They may have trouble expressing themselves, but can easily pick up on the emotions of others. They are also more flexible than the judging personalities and have a tendency to be spontaneous. They are also more likely to be creative than the thinking types, as they tend to look at the big picture rather than the small details.

Empathetic and Emotionally Expressive Children

empathetic children

If your child is an empathic and emotionally expressive personality type, they may be very concerned with the feelings of others. Their empathy is often accompanied by a strong desire to help those in need. This can be a strength when it comes to developing close relationships, but it can also create challenges for them in their relationships if they aren’t careful.

This personality trait is associated with the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator, one of the most popular psychological questionnaires. Although you can find informal versions of this test online, it is best to seek professional assistance from a licensed MBTI practitioner and receive a thorough interpretation of your results.

The Myers-Briggs system identifies 16 personality types and divides them into four categories: sensing, intuitive, thinking, and feeling personalities. Sensing types relate to the outside world through observing, reflecting, and being reserved. Intuitive personalities tend to be adaptable and focus on imagining a wide range of possibilities. Thinking types prefer logical and objective decision-making, and they are typically more emotionally stable than feeling types. In terms of their interpersonal decisions, thinking personalities are more likely to prioritize compromise to benefit all parties involved. They are also more prone to neurosis, or fearful emotions.

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